Market Research Logo

Bahrain - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

Bahrain boosts broadband offerings

Possessing one of the smallest markets in the Middle East, Bahrain’s telecoms market is arguably one the most developed. Early to liberalise its market, it is one of the most open in the region, underpinned by a relatively well-developed regulatory environment. Bahrain’s latest communications development policy, the Third National Telecommunications Plan, recognises the socio economic importance of broadband and hence focuses on improving performance and affordability of broadband services.

In contrast to other countries with high mobile penetration, the number of fixed lines in Bahrain is increasing due to infrastructure based competition by WiMAX operators. Contracting revenue due to growing competition in its home market has forced incumbent Batelco to look abroad for growth, initially focusing on the Middle East region before its late 2012 acquisition of Cable and Wireless International’s Monaco and Island division, comprised of assets in Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, Monaco, Afghanistan, Maldives, Diego Garcia, Seychelles, St Helena, Ascension Island and Falkands.

Bahrain boasts high Internet penetration levels due to strong infrastructure-based competition; ADSL was once the dominant means of broadband access prior to widespread adoption of WiMAX and mobile broadband, but now accounts for only one in eight broadband subscriptions. This figure is expected to fall further as mobile broadband penetration continues to grow.

Recognising the socioeconomic advantages of a connected society, Bahrain has deployed its own National Broadband Network (NBN), using infrastructure from the national Electricity and Water utility company and promising speeds of up to 1Gb/s.

Three network operators compete in the mobile market, which is made up predominantly of prepaid users. Subscriber numbers continue to show strong growth despite a highly-penetrated market, indicating multiple SIM card ownership. Bahrain was one of the first to introduce LTE in the Middle East, with all three operators utilising LTE networks to underpin future revenue growth through take up of mobile, content and application services. An auction of additional spectrum to promote future mobile broadband market growth was halted in early 2013 after a WiMAX operator commenced legal action over its exclusion from what was originally promoted as an open auction.

Key telecom parameters – 2011; 2013
Sector | 2011 | 2013
Subscribers to telecoms services (million):
Broadband | 1.0 | 1.1
Fixed-line telephony | 0.24 | 0.27
Mobile phone | 1.69 | 2.15
(Source: BuddeComm)

Companies covered in this report include:

Batelco, MenaTelecom, Lightspeed Communications, Kalaam Telecom, 2Connect, Noorsat, Bahrain Broadband (Greenisis), Zain Bahrain, Viva Bahrain.

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Jordan’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, Internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media sectors.

Subjects include:

Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
Facts, figures and statistics;
Industry and regulatory issues;
Infrastructure;
Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU
Internet, IPTV;
Mobile voice and data markets;
Broadband (FttH, DSL, wireless);
Convergence and digital media;
Broadband subscriber forecasts to 2023;


1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
2.1 Country overview
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Overview of Bahrain’s telecom market
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Background
4.2 Regulatory authority
4.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Bahrain
4.3.1 First National Telecommunications Plan
4.3.2 Second National Telecommunications Plan and planned measures
4.3.3 Third National Telecommunications Plan
4.3.4 Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) licences
4.4 Interconnect
4.5 Access
4.6 Number portability
4.7 Privatisation
5. Fixed network operators in Bahrain
5.1 Overview
5.2 Bahrain telecommunications company (Batelco)
5.3 Alternative operators
5.3.1 MenaTelecom
5.3.2 Lightspeed Communications
5.3.3 Kalaam Telecom
5.3.4 2Connect
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
6.1 National telecom network
6.2 International infrastructure
6.2.1 Submarine cable networks
6.2.2 Satellite networks
6.2.3 Noorsat
7. Wholesaling
7.1 Overview
7.2 Unbundled services (LLU)
8. Broadband access market
8.1 Overview
8.2 Broadband statistics
8.3 Broadband subscriber forecasts
8.3.1 Scenario 1 – higher growth
8.3.2 Scenario 2 – lower growth
8.4 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
8.5 Fibre to the Home (FttH)
8.5.1 National Broadband Network (NBN)
8.6 Wireless broadband
8.6.1 WiMAX
8.6.2 WiFi
8.6.3 iBurst
9. Digital economy / digital media
9.1 Overview
9.2 E-government
9.3 E-education
9.4 Utilities
10. Digital broadcasting
10.1 Satellite TV
10.2 Broadband TV (IPTV)
10.3 Web TV
11. Mobile communications
11.1 Overview of Bahrain’s mobile market
11.1.1 Mobile statistics
11.2 Regulatory issues
11.2.1 Second mobile licence
11.2.2 Third mobile licence
11.2.3 Prepaid subscriber registration
11.2.4 Roaming tariff reduction
11.2.5 Additional Spectrum
11.3 Mobile technologies
11.3.1 Analogue
11.3.2 Digital
11.3.3 Third Generation (3G)
11.3.4 Long-term evolution (LTE)
11.4 Major mobile operators
11.4.1 Batelco
11.4.2 Zain Bahrain (formerly MTC Vodafone)
11.4.3 Viva Bahrain / STC Bahrain
11.5 Mobile voice services
11.5.1 Prepaid
11.5.2 Credit transfer service
11.6 Mobile broadband (access)
11.7 Mobile content
11.7.1 Batelco
11.7.2 Zain Bahrain
11.7.3 Viva Bahrain
12. Related reports
Table 1 – Country statistics Bahrain – 2013
Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2013
Table 3 – Internet user statistics – 2013
Table 4 – Internet subscriber statistics – 2013
Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2013
Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
Table 7 – GDP growth and inflation – 2005 - 2014
Table 8 – Batelco revenue and profit – Bahrain and other - 2005 - 2013
Table 9 – Batelco revenue by division - 2005 - 2013
Table 10 – Batelco total group mobile subscribers – 2005 - 2013
Table 11 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 – 2014
Table 12 – Internet users and penetration estimates - 1995 - 2013
Table 13 – Internet subscribers - 2000 - 2013
Table 14 – Broadband subscribers - 2005 - 2012
Table 15 – Broadband subscribers by access method – 2004 - 2012
Table 16 – Market share of Internet and broadband by access method – 2004 - 2012
Table 17 – Broadband subscribers by access speed – 2007 - 2011
Table 18 – Broadband monthly ARPU – 2007 - 2011
Table 19 – Forecast broadband subscribers – higher market growth scenario – 2013; 2018; 2023
Table 20 – Forecast broadband subscribers – lower market growth scenario – 2013; 2018; 2023
Table 21 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995 - 2014
Table 22 – Batelco Bahrain mobile subscribers – 2011 - 2013
Table 23 – Zain Bahrain – Revenue, EBITDA, CAPEX and ARPU - 2005 - 2012
Table 24 – Zain Bahrain – Active Subscribers – 2005 - 2013
Table 25 – Prepaid mobile subscribers - 1999 - 2013
Table 26 – Zain Bahrain prepaid subscribers - 2004 - 2013
Table 27 – Zain – Total daily data volume – 2010 - 2012
Chart 1 – Bahrain fixed-line and mobile subscribers – 2004 – 2014
Chart 2 – Chart of Internet Subscribers and Users in Bahrain – 2003 - 2013

Download our eBook: How to Succeed Using Market Research

Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.

Download eBook

Share this report